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Open Hardware

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  • Russia's 3Dquality Continues to Expand and Impress with Growing Range of 3D Printers
  • Minimalist Cetus 3D Printer Soon to Hit Kickstarter
  • Qubie is an open hardware solution for tracking wait times at voting places

    With an incredibly important national election coming up, it’s more critical than ever that everyone who can vote does — and is able to. Election tech firm Free and Fair is hoping to help avoid overflowing voting locations with a simple, open source device that automatically monitors waiting times and keeps voters and officials informed.

    Free and Fair creates open source software for polling places, from checking in voters to actually taking and tallying votes — but Qubie is the company’s first original hardware, created for the Hackaday Prize. Founder Daniel Zimmerman explained that it was just another aspect of the voting process that struck them as out of date.

    “In the last few elections there have been reports of long queue times, people giving up and going home,” he told TechCrunch. “Election technology is in a pretty sorry state — we thought it’d be nice to gather data on that rather than anecdotes.”

AMD Graphics

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  • Radeon RX 460 Released, Linux Review Later This Week

    Just days after the Radeon RX 470 began shipping, the Radeon RX 460 is shipping this morning and the embargo concerning the RX 460 has expired.

    This Polaris 11 graphics card has 14 compute units, 896 stream process, 1090MHz boost clock speed with 1200MHz boost clock speed, and is rated for up to 2.2 TFLOPS of compute power. The video memory is GDDR5 on a 128-bit bus. The TDP for this graphics card is less than 75 Watts.

  • AMD GPUOpen's CodeXL 2.2 Now Supports Linux With AMDGPU-PRO

    Earlier this year AMD made CodeXL 2.0 open-source as a developer tool with GUI centered around profiling/optimizing D3D, OpenGL, and Vulkan (since CodeXL 2.1) under Windows and Linux. Today marks the release of CodeXL 2.2.

Android and Devices

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  • Is Knocking On The Door Of My Odroid-C2

    If this ~$100 CDN tiny box pleases TLW, it’s Good Enough. When a proper video driver gets into Linus’ mainline, say, with Wayland, and distros have all the usual applications working, these things will take over. It surely blows away her old VIA box with 8 core-gHz CPU, gigabit/s networking and 2gB RAM compared to 0.4 core-gHz, 100 mbits/s, and 0.25gB RAM. We’re using files over NFS so TLW will be able to use her old desktop environment on Beast III if she wants. Otherwise, she can use the Odroid-C2 as a thick client well enough. Cost for the old ones was ~$150 CDN delivered a decade ago, with real money, not this inflated stuff. Life is good.

  • ​Google wants you to log in once on Android - with any password manager
  • Google Says Goodbye to Android Wear's 'Together' Watch Face
  • Here's an open source PC that can be a laptop, desktop or even tablet

    Would-be backers of the open-source, modular EOMA68 PC card can now support the crowdfunding campaign by purchasing several new gadgets that work with the system.

    Fund-raising for the 'Easy-on-Mother-Earth' EOMA68 PC began in July and have now reached $66,000, or just under half of the $150,000 targeted by the end of August.

    The concept, from UK firm Rhombus Tech, is designed to demonstrate that computers can be easy and cheap to fix or upgrade with a standardized PC board and 3D printable housing and components. It also hopes the modular design can cut the mountains of e-waste produced by the tech industry.

4-Disk Btrfs RAID Benchmarks On Linux 4.7

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Going along with the recent Linux 4.7 file-system benchmarks, here are some tests of Btrfs' built-in RAID functionality when tested on the Linux 4.7 kernel across four SATA SSDs.

Read more

Open Hardware

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  • AArch64 desktop hardware?

    Soon there will be four years since I started working on AArch64 architecture. Lot of software things changed during that time. Lot in a hardware too. But machines availability still sucks badly.

    In 2012 all we had was software model. It was slow, terribly slow. Common joke was AArch64 developers standing in a queue for 10GHz x86-64 cpus. So I was generating working binaries by using cross compilation. But many distributions only do native builds. In models. Imagine Qt4 building for 3-4 days…

    In 2013 I got access to first server hardware. With first silicon version of CPU. Highly unstable, we could use just one core etc. GCC was crashing like hell but we managed to get stable build results from it. Qt4 was building in few hours now.

  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 1

    Last year I had open source instruction set RISC-V running Linux emulated in qemu. However to really get into the architecture, and restore my very rusty FPGA skills, wouldn’t it be fun to have RISC-V working in real hardware.

    The world of RISC-V is pretty confusing for outsiders. There are a bunch of affiliated companies, researchers who are producing actual silicon (nothing you can buy of course), and the affiliated(?) lowRISC project which is trying to produce a fully open source chip. I’m starting with lowRISC since they have three iterations of a design that you can install on reasonably cheap FPGA development boards like the one above. (I’m going to try to install “Untether 0.2” which is the second iteration of their FPGA design.)

  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 2
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 3
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 4
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 5

Open Hardware

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  • Open-Source Farming Machine Plants And Waters Seeds

    While it is nice to have access to produce that is not in season, the unseen use of pesticides and other harmful additives is a difficult problem to avoid.

  • California dreaming: DIY, open-source SoCs with RISC-V

    With its customizable, open-source SoCs built on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture, SiFive, a San Francisco start-up, is poised to reverse the industry’s rising licensing, design and implementation costs.

    With on the one hand Moore’s Law ended or approaching the end and on the other, vast investments required for to develop a modern, high-performance chip, it looks impossible for smaller system designers to join the traditional economic model of chip building. However, the body of software and tools available from the open-source community under the guidance of the RISC-V Foundation, can substantially cut the cost of developing custom silicon. System designers can use the SiFive Freedom platforms to focus on their own differentiated processor without having the overhead of developing a modern SoC, fabric or software infrastructur

  • Lawn Da Vinci Open Source RC Lawnmower (video)

    If you find the prices of the current range of robotic lawnmowers just a little too high for your budget, you might be interested in a new open source remote control lawnmower which has been created called the Lawn Da Vinci.

    Okay so it’s not completely autonomous but you can still add a little extra fun to those lawn mowing days, with the addition of a little remote control to the humble petrol powered lawnmower.

  • A open source toolkit for building your own home

    The evidence is overwhelming that large scale collaboration leads to superior technology. FOSS showed us the way and now free and open source hardware is rapidly gaining traction. There is a growing list of open source hardware projects, which are bringing millions (billion?) of dollars of value to the world. Now a new initiative from the Open Building Institute (OBI) is adding "house" to the list of killer open hardware apps.

  • Open Source Hardware: What It Means and Why It Matters

    You've heard of open source software. But what about open source hardware? Here's an overview of what open source hardware is, what the challenges are and why open hardware is poised to grow in importance as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to boom.

Linux Devices

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  • Smaller & Faster than Raspberry Pi Zero: Meet NanoPi NEO ARM Linux Development Board

    Raspberry Pi Zero has two noticeable attributes compared to other Raspberry Pi boards: it’s smaller and it’s cheaper. FriendlyARM has now designed another model for their NanoPi family, that about 12% smaller, although not quite as thin at all due to its Ethernet jack and USB connector, and much faster than Raspberry Pi Zero, with NanoPi NEO board powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor.

  • Notes from the fourth RISC-V workshop

    Many of the lowRISC team (Robert Mullins, Wei Song, and Alex Bradbury) have been in Boston this week for the fourth RISC-V workshop. By any measure, this has been a massive success with over 250 attendees representing 63 companies and 42 Universities. Wei presented our most recent work on integrating trace debug, which you’ll soon be able to read much more about here (it’s worth signing up to our announcement list if you want to be informed of each of our releases).

  • Arduino-powered Lock Automatically Locks The Door When You Open Incognito Mode

    Mike, the CEO of the Useless Duck Company, has created an Arduino-powered door lock which locks the door automatically when you open an incognito window in your web browser. In a YouTube video, Mike shows how this awesome tech works.

Devices and Hardware (Linux and Hacker-Friendly)

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  • 8 open source point of sale systems

    Running a small business isn't easy, and especially so for retailers, restaurant owners, and others who have a brick-and-mortar storefront. Managing purchases and cash flow, keeping inventory stocked, making sure your employees are happy, and above all else serving your customers needs requires dedication, a solid business plan, and a bit of luck to be successful.

  • ELC video explains the mystery of modern caches

    In his recent ELC talk, ARM kernel developer Mark Rutland traced the evolution of caches over the last decade or so, and explained how to manage them.

    “If you’re a bit tired, this is a presentation on cache maintenance, so there will be plenty of opportunity to sleep,” began Rutland. Despite this warning, Rutland’s presentation, titled Embedded Linux Conference presentation titled Stale Data, or How We (Mis-)manage Modern Caches, was actually kind of an eye opener — at least as far as cache management presentations go.

  • This open source CNC system integrates high-tech automation into backyard farming

    This story might more properly belong on RobotHugger, but with its open source DIY approach to small-scale food production, FarmBot is worth a look.

    The old-school gardener in me is battling my high-tech early adopter side over whether or not this robotic farming device is a step toward greater food sovereignty or toward a dystopian future where robot overlords rule backyard farms. Sure, it's easy enough to learn to garden the old fashioned way, on your hands and knees with your hands in the soil, but considering that one of the excuses for not growing some our own food is lack of time and lack of skills and knowledge, perhaps this automated and optimized small-scale farming approach could be a feasible solution for the techie foodies who would like homegrown food without having to have a green thumb.

  • Tropical Labs Offers a Powerful Open Source Servo for Makers

    Joe Church from Tropical Labs wanted low cost, accurate servo motors for a project but was unable to find the right parts for his need. The team began to develop motors and recording their progress on The motor project eventually turned into Mechaduino, and Tropical Labs is running a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the first run of production motors.

  • SiFive – the open-source hardware company

    Customisation periods end with ICs becoming complex and expensive and, at that point, standardisation comes in and returns ICs to affordability.

    Or that’s the theory.

    Over the years there have been many ways to bring the cost of custom silicon down – MPW, ASIC, P-SOC, FPGAs and, latterly, ARM’s offer of free access to Cortex-M0 processor IP through DesignStart which aims to deliver test chips for $16,000.

Anki Cozmo: AI toy robot gets open-source SDK for programming, hacking

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: KDE


  • 4 Useful Cinnamon Desktop Applets
    The Cinnamon desktop environment is incredibly popular, and for good reason. Out of the box it offers a clean, fast and well configured desktop experience. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it a little better with a few nifty extras. And that’s where Cinnamon Applets come in. Like Unity’s Indicator Applets and GNOME Extensions, Cinnamon Applets let you add additional functionality to your desktop quickly and easily.
  • GNOME Core Apps Hackfest
    The hackfest is aimed to raise the standard of the overall core experience in GNOME, this includes the core apps like Documents, Files, Music, Photos and Videos, etc. In particular, we want to identify missing features and sore points that needs to be addressed and the interaction between apps and the desktop. Making the core apps push beyond the limits of the framework and making them excellent will not only be helpful for the GNOME desktop experience, but also for 3rd party apps, where we will implement what they are missing and also serve as an example of what an app could be.
  • This Week in GTK+ – 21
    In this last week, the master branch of GTK+ has seen 335 commits, with 13631 lines added and 37699 lines removed.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Puppet Unveils New Docker Build and Phased Deployments
    Puppet released a number of announcements today including the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build and a new version of Puppet Enterprise, which features phased deployments and situational awareness. In April, Puppet began helping people deploy and manage things like Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere, and CoreOS. Now the shift is helping people manage the services that are running on top of those environments.
  • 9 reasons not to install Nagios in your company
  • Top 5 Reasons to Love Kubernetes
    At LinuxCon Europe in Berlin I gave a talk about Kubernetes titled "Why I love Kubernetes? Top 10 reasons." The response was great, and several folks asked me to write a blog about it. So here it is, with the first five reasons in this article and the others to follow. As a quick introduction, Kubernetes is "an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications" often referred to as a container orchestrator.
  • Website-blocking attack used open-source software
    Mirai gained notoriety after the Krebs attack because of the bandwidth it was able to generate — a record at well over 600 gigabits a second, enough to send the English text of Wikipedia three times in two seconds. Two weeks later, the source code for Mirai was posted online for free.
  • Alibaba’s Blockchain Email Repository Gains Technology from Chinese Open Source Startup
    Onchain, an open-source blockchain based in Shanghai, will provide technology for Alibaba’s first blockchain supported email evidence repository. Onchain allows fast re-constructions for public, permissioned (consortium) or private blockchains and will eventually enable interoperability among these modes. Its consortium chain product, the Law Chain, will provide technology for Ali Cloud, Alibaba’s computing branch. Ali Cloud has integrated Onchain’s Antshares blockchain technology to provide an enterprise-grade email repository. Onchain provides the bottom-layer framework for Ali Cloud, including its open-source blockchain capabilities, to enable any company to customize its own enterprise-level blockchain.
  • Netflix on Firefox for Linux
    If you're a Firefox user and you're a little fed up with going to Google Chrome every time in order to watch Netflix on your Linux machine, the good news is since Firefox 49 landed, HTML5 DRM (through the Google Widevine CDM (Content Decryption Manager) plugin) is now supported. Services that use DRM for HTML5 media should now just work, such as Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, the Netflix crew haven't 'flicked a switch' yet behind the scenes for Firefox on Linux, meaning if you run Netflix in the Mozilla browser at the moment, you'll likely just come across the old Silverlight error page. But there is a workaround. For some reason, Netflix still expects Silverlight when it detects the user is running Firefox, despite the fact that the latest Firefox builds for Linux now support the HTML5 DRM plugin.
  • IBM Power Systems solution for EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server
    The primary focus of this article is on the use, configuration, and optimization of PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server running on the IBM® Power Systems™ servers featuring the new IBM POWER8® processor technology. Note: The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.2 operating system was used. The scope of this article is to provide information on how to build and set up of PostgreSQL database from open source and also install and configure EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on an IBM Power® server for better use. EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on IBM Power Systems running Linux® is based on the open source database, PostgreSQL, and is capable of handling a wide variety of high-transaction and heavy-reporting workloads.
  • Valgrind 3.12 Released With More Improvements For Memory Debugging/Checking
  • [Valgrind] Release 3.12.0 (20 October 2016)
  • Chain Launches Open Source Developer Platform [Ed: If it’s openwashing, then no doubt Microsoft is involved]
  • LLVM Still Looking At Migration To GitHub
    For the past number of months the LLVM project has been considering a move from their SVN-based development process to Git with a focus on GitHub. That effort continues moving forward.
  • Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released With File Manager Improvements
    Lumina is a lightweight Qt-based desktop environment for BSD and Linux. We show you what's new in its latest release, and how you can install it on Ubuntu.
  • Study: Administrations unaware of IT vendor lock-in
    Public policy makers in Sweden have limited insight on how IT project can lead to IT vendor lock-in, a study conducted for the Swedish Competition Authority shows. “An overwhelming majority of the IT projects conducted by schools and public sector organisations refer to specific software without considering lock-in and different possible negative consequences”, the authors conclude.
  • How open access content helps fuel growth in Indian-language Wikipedias
    Mobile Internet connectivity is growing rapidly in rural India, and because most Internet users are more comfortable in their native languages, websites producing content in Indian languages are going to drive this growth. In a country like India in which only a handful of journals are available in Indian languages, open access to research and educational resources is hugely important for populating content for the various Indian language Wikipedias.
  • Where to find the world's best programmers
    One source of data about programmers' skills is HackerRank, a company that poses programming challenges to a community of more than a million coders and also offers recruitment services to businesses. Using information about how successful coders from different countries are at solving problems across a wide range of domains (such as "algorithms" or "data structures" or specific languages such as C++ or Java), HackerRank's data suggests that, overall, the best developers come from China, followed closely by Russia. Alarmingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, the United States comes in at 28th place.

OSS in the Back End

  • AtScale Delivers Findings on BI-Plus-Hadoop
    Business intelligence is the dominant use-case for IT organizations implementing Hadoop, according to a report from the folks at AtScale. The benchmark study also shows which tools in the Haddop ecosystem are best for particular types of BI queries. As we've reported before, tools that demystify and function as useful front-ends and connectors for the open source Hadoop project are much in demand. AtScale, billed as “the first company to allow business users to do business intelligence on Hadoop,” focused its study on the strengths and weaknesses of the industry’s most popular analytical engines for Hadoop – Impala, SparkSQL, Hive and Presto.
  • Study Says OpenStack at Scale Can Produce Surprising Savings
    Revenues from OpenStack-based businesses are poised to grow by 35 percent a year to more than $5 billion by 2020, according to analysts at 451 Research. In its latest Cloud Price Index, 451 Research analyzes the costs associated with using various cloud options to determine when it becomes better value to use a self-managed private cloud instead of public or managed cloud services. The idea is to createa complex pricing model that takes into consideration the major factors impacting total cost of ownership (TCO), including salaries and workload requirements.The 451 study found that because of the prevalence of suitably qualified administrators, commercial private cloud offerings such as VMware and Microsoft currently offer a lower TCO when labor efficiency is below 400 virtual machines managed per engineer. But where labor efficiency is greater than this, OpenStack becomes more financially attractive. In fact, past this tipping point, all private cloud options are cheaper than both public cloud and managed private cloud options.
  • How OpenStack mentoring breaks down cultural barriers
    Victoria Martinez de la Cruz is no stranger to OpenStack's mentorship opportunities. It's how she got her own start in OpenStack, and now a few years later is helping to coordinate many of these opportunities herself. She is speaking on a panel on mentoring and internships later this week at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain. In this interview, we catch up with Victoria to learn more about the details of what it's like to be a part of an open source internship, as well as some helpful advice for people on both sides of the mentoring process.